Sussex is often referred to as the heartland of English winemaking for its warm climate, diverse soils and, of course, acres of beautiful countryside in which to enjoy tasting a variety of still and sparkling English wines.
Here in West Sussex we are blessed with a plethora of vineyards right on the doorstep, from award-winners and sparkling wines that give Champagne a serious run for its money, to new vines cropping up each year.
With wine tourism ever growing in popularity and many of our West Sussex experts waiting to welcome you to the wine county, we’ve rounded up the vineyards that you can tour, taste and experience for yourself.
Ashling Park Estate’s grand tasting rooms and five luxury lodges, which are all designed by William Hardie of TV’s Amazing Spaces fame, are made from local material including wood sourced from the South Downs National Park.
Tours of the vineyard will be followed by wine tasting on the balcony overlooking the vineyard and beautiful gardens and lakes of the estate. On the ground floor is an experience room with an immersive 360 degree experience including visuals, tastes and smells.
Since its first planting in 2007, the Tinwood Estate has become known for its outstanding selection of sparkling wines. A beautiful estate surrounded by wildflower meadows,
Regular tours of the vineyard conclude with a full tasting experience within the dedicated, ultra-modern tasting room, after which you can stay for an hour to enjoy some more drinks, an afternoon tea or even book a night’s stay in one of the luxury lodges – complete with a private terrace, wine fridge and barrel sauna!
Sitting at the highest point of the Sussex Weald, of which its soil mirrors that of the Champagne region of France, Blackdown Ridge Estate planted its first vines in 2010 and produced its first sparkling wine in 2015.
Enjoy a tour of the estate, learn more about the vines and sample some of their national and international award-winning English wine, both still and sparkling. Relax and compare the vintages along with some cheeses, crackers olives and salami.
Kinsbrook Vineyard is a family-owned vineyard and wine producer building an inclusive, sustainable lifestyle culture in Thakeham, West Sussex. Led by Joe Beckett and Rebecca Dancer, some of the youngest vineyard owners in the country.
On-site, there’s also the fantastic Kinsbrook Farmhouse, a laid-back eatery and farm shop featuring world-beating local produce and delicious seasonal dishes all surrounded by panoramic views of the vineyard. Their new supper clubs celebrate the changing seasons through a tasting menu spotlighting the very best local produce put together by incredible guest chefs. You’ll also get to sample the outstanding wine as each menu is paired with a Kinsbrook wine flight. Be sure to book well ahead – they are very popular!
Located close to the picturesque market town of Petworth in West Sussex, Roebuck Estates was established in 2013 by two friends who shared a passion for great wine and had a clear vision: to craft exceptional vintage sparkling wines every single year using estate-grown fruit from only the finest vineyard sites in England.
Upperton Vineyards is a small, family-run producer of English sparkling wine. With glorious panoramic views of the surrounding South Downs National Park and an outdoor terrace bar, it’s the perfect place to escape for some tranquil sights, sparkling wine served by the glass and a cheese board to share.
You can also arrange for a private tour of the vineyard and tasting with owner, Andy Rogers.
Stopham Vineyard began its journey in 2007, combining a passion for English wine and the changeable Sussex countryside. Grapes are grown, nurtured and hand-picked on the Estate to produce white and sparkling wines that are fruity, crisp and with a natural acidity.
You can join winemakers Simon or Tom on a tour of the vineyard and winery, followed by tutored tastings most Saturdays throughout wine season, with the option to enjoy lunch by the river.
“Stopham Estate’s vineyard position in West Sussex offers the perfect location for growing our chosen grape varieties (Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Bacchus, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir) due to its low altitude, southerly aspect and free draining sandy soil. The vineyard also happens to be in an area of outstanding natural beauty and forms part of the South Downs National Park, of which we are very respectful in our vineyard practice.”
The Wiston Estate has been farmed by the Goring family for over 275 years and its vineyard was planted in 2006. Together with renowned winemaker, Dermot Sugrue, the family estate has produced varieties of sparkling white wines that have gone on to win awards year after year.
You can embark on a wine tour and tutored tasting package at Wiston Estate, visit for exciting food and wine pairing events or even gift the wine lover in your life with vouchers for tour experiences. They even have walking routes and cycling routes you can explore!
“West Sussex is an ideal location for growing vines as we have one of the warmest and driest climates in the UK, diverse soils and the rolling hills of the South Downs.
We’re fortunate that our growing season is usually long, allowing the grapes to reach optimal ripeness. At Wiston, we will often try to hold our nerve and not pick grapes until the middle of October, which helps to produce wines of great complexity and richness.”
One of the earlier vineyards within West Sussex, Nutbourne Vineyard has a reputation for its fantastic Reisling-style still wines and sparkling blends and has been managed by winemaker Owen Elias for almost 30 years.
A leisurely two to three-hour tour of the estate begins with tea, coffee and cake, before exploring the vineyard trail, visiting the winery and tasting four of the vineyard’s current releases in the Wine Lodge. Additional options include deli platters, a BBQ celebration and luxurious seated meals, making a unique venue for special occasions.
Another pioneer within the English wine industry, Nyetimber has been producing wine for over 30 years, yet came into its full potential when Eric Heerema took over the estate in 2006. The experienced winemaking team assess each of the estate’s handpicked vineyards to ensure optimal ripeness and gently press the fruits individually to understand their distinctive differences and make blending decisions.
A two-hour tour and tasting of award-winning sparkling wines concludes with the opportunity to purchase wines at cellar-door price, plus the price of your ticket redeemable against a case of six bottles. Plus, keep an eye out for one-off exclusive dining events with Michelin-starred chef, Michael Caines MBE.
Ambriel (Redfold Vineyards) is home to the international award-winning Ambriel Sparkling Wines, including the gold medalled Blanc de Blancs 2010. With complete control from grape to glass, Ambriel wines are crafted to reflect the terroir and are ‘Ebulliently English’.
Contact Ambriel to arrange private tours and tastings or to stop by to purchase wines directly.
“The wine is bottled Sussex sunshine. Sip it and smile.”
Sitting between Littlehampton and Worthing, the Highdown Vineyard doubles as a stunning event venue and scenic backdrop for weddings, private parties and all manners of celebrations. Ideal for group visits, tour and tasting packages can be personalised to include cream teas, canapes or a light lunch, and all are delivered in a casual, non-pretentious manner – making a great experience as part of a birthday, anniversary or wedding gift.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, Albourne Estate is a family-owned boutique vineyard nestled on the edge of the South Downs National Park and producing small quantities of quality still and sparkling English wines. Albourne’s smaller site was selected for its imperative growing conditions and allows its team to pay meticulous detail at every step of the winemaking process.
Full tour and tasting packages can be booked for Saturday and Sunday mornings throughout summer, with a walk around the vineyard to learn about the challenges and joys of growing grapes in the UK. You’ll also see the specialist equipment involved in producing wine and, of course, enjoy a tutored tasting of the current releases in the new tasting room.
Bolney Wine Estate began in 1972 as one of just six commercial vineyards in England. Since then, it has become a wine tourist destination for wine experts, West Sussex residents and visitors far and wide, for its varied collection of white, red, rose and sparkling wines, as well as more recent forays into producing gin and vermouth.
Throughout the year, a wide variety of tours, tastings and special events are held to delight your inner epicurean, including seasonal feasts, wine and food pairing and family-friendly trails. The onsite café and adjoining shop, The Eighteen Acre, is open regularly for breakfast, lunch, coffee and picnic boxes, or a spot of shopping for gifts and local produce.
The Ridgeview story is a true family labour of love, extending to the wider team it has built to date. Close to the village of Ditchling, the vineyard is home to classic varieties of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier and has produced astounding sparkling wines to international acclaim.
Open daily for visitors and tours and tastings, or sit back and enjoy sparkling wines by the glass along with seasonal small plates next to the Chardonnay vineyard at The Rows&Vine outdoor restaurant. Special events are held throughout the year, from Easter trails and food pairing experiences to the highly anticipated summer event, Ridgefest.
Named for its setting amongst bluebell-filled woods, Bluebell Vineyard Estate sits on the edge of Ashdown Forest. Growing classic sparkling wine varieties and using traditional winemaking techniques in Sussex terroir, the Bluebell collection reflects the distinctly English stamp on sparkling wine with unique fruit character.
Wine tasting experiences at Bluebell Vineyard include the relaxed and informative tour and tasting, as well as options for cheese tasting, a classic pub lunch and even a bed and breakfast package. Alternatively, take a stroll through the vineyard and enjoy the stunning Sussex countryside at your own pace with their self-guided vineyard and woodland trail.
Set within 150 acres of land, with fishing lakes and a 14th century Tithe barn, the Kingscote Estate began its journey as a vineyard in 2010 and produces award-winning still and sparkling wines. Under new ownership as of 2017, the vision at Kingscote Estate is to continue pursuing the dream of its late founder, Christian Monge, and build on the renowned Kingscote name.